Be realistic, says daily on Krishna’s Pakistan trip

September 7th, 2012 - 11:59 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Islamabad, Sep 7 (IANS) Issues between Pakistan and India that divide opinion will not be easy to solve, said a Pakistani daily as Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna arrives here Friday on a three-day visit.

Krishna, who will be in Islamabad and Lahore before leaving for home Sunday, has said he comes with messages which he hopes can solve all the mutual problems between the two countries.

“The note of optimism struck by Krishna ahead of his meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar augurs well,” said an editorial in the News International.

“Too many matters between India and Pakistan have remained stuck at the same point for too many years. The stagnant waters need to be given a stir. It is good news that Krishna appears willing to get things flowing, so that in time the major issues which divide the countries, including Kashmir, water disputes, Siachen, Sir Creek and others can be tackled,” it added.

The daily, however, cautioned: “We must, however, be realistic.”

“Regardless of the degree of goodwill, the matters which lie between the two countries and divide opinion will not be easy to solve. Many stem from Partition, and the clumsy manner in which it took place. But the fact that a genuine desire exists to solve these matters is a positive sign,” it added.

The daily considered it as the first step to moving towards agreement and an end to periodic hostility.

“Indeed this can only happen if both nations reach an accord on how to tackle terrorism. The matter will undoubtedly come up during discussions in Islamabad. We must hope that during this time the bilateral dialogue resumed in early 2011 after a long period of tension following the November 2008 siege of Mumbai can be taken forward,” it said.

The editorial went on to say that the signing of a new visa regime, facilitating travel for businessmen and senior citizens is expected.

“Indeed this is a virtual certainty following the outline agreed on at the secretarial level talks in May this year. A new trade agreement is also expected. Pakistan has already granted MFN status to India while two Pakistani textile companies are marketing their materials in India.

“…Details for a possible visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are also to be worked out and it seems that steps are finally being taken in the right direction. We still have to see where the road which India and Pakistan are travelling down finally leads to and hope that no obstacles block this journey,” said the daily.

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